“I might feel afraid, but I won’t stay afraid as I fix my eyes on things unseen.”Jessica Latshaw
Most of my spiritual experiences have occurred around birth and death. When I was 20, my best friend died of leukemia. I loved her very deeply. My family and I had Thanksgiving with her family the following year. There was a freak snowstorm that day, and it was pretty scary driving to their coastal Maine home. However, we arrived safely and shortly thereafter, the storm broke, the skies cleared and the sun came out. Suddenly, a brilliant double-rainbow arched over the water behind my friends’ parents’ home. We all gathered on the back deck to admire it. After we stared for a while, almost everyone went back in. My friend’s father turned to me, looked at me square in the eye and said, “You know who that is, don’t you?” I was so relieved to hear him say it because I knew with absolute certainty that it was her, but wasn’t sure if it would sound crazy to say it out loud. I could feel her energy. It was her without a doubt saying hello and sending love to her loved ones. It was my first real spiritual experience. I felt a connection with another kind of life, another form of energy, another realm or dimension. The love connection we have tied us together through dimensions, and I knew her to be there even though in the logical, scientific realm, it might have made no sense. I have had several dreams about my friend too. Sometimes we are just hanging out and it’s as normal as it was when we hung out after school or when we lived together in a dorm room in Boston for a summer. There was one time when my third child was just around one year old and loved playing peek-a-boo when I had my most vivid dream of my friend. We were hanging out in a pool. But as we were talking, Beth ducked under water periodically. When she was underwater, I couldn’t see her, and it felt like she wasn’t there, like she was actually going away. Beth kept doing this repeatedly, over an over again, until I gradually realized what she was telling me. She was showing me, just as a parent shows a child by playing peek-a-boo, that even when I couldn’t see her, she was still there. She was showing me by repeatedly coming back, then going away, then coming back. She wasn’t really gone, she was just under a veil of water. And in reality, that’s how it is, too. She is still there always even though I can’t see her. Just like with the double rainbow, I knew with absolute certainty what the message was, the way you know something intuitively even though you’re not sure how you know. I had that feeling also when I was pregnant with my first child. I was early in my second trimester. I was standing in the garage under our Los Angeles apartment. Suddenly, it hit me like a thunderbolt that the baby was a boy. I felt it beyond a shadow of a doubt and nothing could shake me my conviction in this belief. Of course, I was right. My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I was devastated. I mourned and grieved for days. Then, like a soft ray of sun through clouds, a message came to me. The message was that Cassidy would come back at the right time. She wasn’t gone; she would be back later. I got pregnant again about a couple years later. I was determined to have a natural delivery without drugs. To that end, I started practicing hypnotherapy and learned how to consciously calm my body and reprogram my mind to let go of fear and stress. Later in the pregnancy, I could feel Cassidy like a burning hot sun in my belly. She was a force to be reckoned with even before birth. As it turned out, the self-hypnosis worked. It worked too well in fact. I was so calm during my labor that we almost didn’t make it to the hospital in time. I barely crossed the threshold into the hospital and birthed her right there in the lobby without any doctors or nurses present and certainly without anesthesia. With our third baby, I knew I could have a natural birth but I also knew that I would make it to the hospital on time. This labor was smooth and relatively fast but not as ridiculously fast as with Cassidy. I had time to feel it, every moment. I’ll never forget that moment when I felt I couldn’t do it anymore. I just wanted to run away and make it stop. A nurse said, “Let go of the fear.” My mother said something about the power of the let. I remembered to breathe, deeply, slowly, powerfully, and I realized that in the center of the loud, garish fear there was a calm and peaceful stillness that was unperturbed and constant like the eye of a tornado. It was there always whenever I needed it. There was no fear there and it even existed inside of fear. This was where I was when Skylar came into the world. I still remember that beautiful feeling of serenity and absence of all pain and fear. Over the years, I have had many theta experiences while sleeping near Skylar, where I have woken up to profound realizations or poignant messages, theta being that state between dreaming and consciousness where we are more open to mystical experiences. One time, I woke up to the sudden knowledge that everything is my fault. That is, that everything in all aspects of my life and my world is a consequence of my thinking and/or actions. It’s a concept I had heard before obviously, but at that particular moment, it hit me with the power of absolute, experiential knowing. Another night, when I wished on a star before going to bed to know what my purpose is, I woke up hearing a voice saying “Vessel.” I knew undoubtedly what that meant, too. It meant my purpose has nothing to do with my ego. I am a vessel for God’s love to shine the light for others. I don’t really have to do anything. I simply needed to not block the light and allow it to flow. And another time, I woke up sensing dozens of energy threads connecting me to the universe as I slept, holding me in perfect harmony and balance with all that is. I had a marvelous feeling of endless security and integration with my world. Our world is not separate from us. We are part of it, and it is part of us. We are intertwined and integrated with our surroundings and our universe.